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HMC’s Nuclear Medicine unit, which is part of the Clinical Imaging Department, continues to introduce state-of-the-art technologies with the aim of expanding and bringing healthcare services provided to patients in Qatar on par with those offered worldwide. An example of the latest technologies utilized at the unit is the introduction of the 2nd Positron Emission Tomography - Computed Tomography, better known as (PET-CT).
Clinical research has shown that PET-CT diagnostic approach is far more effective than conventional scanning as it helps healthcare professionals differentiate malignant tumors from benign ones, thus enabling them to determine tumor stages, how far cancer cells are spread, and how these cells respond to treatment whereby these professionals would be able to develop the appropriate treatment plan. Radioactive glucose is considered as one of the most common drugs used in the diagnosis of tumors.
The 2nd PET-CT has helped reduce patients wait time and allowed performing tests in a timely manner. More than 25 tests can now be performed daily at the unit. The introduction of such advanced healthcare services is indicative of HMCs commitment to providing world-class care, bearing in mind that nuclear medicine is an integral part of clinical imaging and plays a vital role in the diagnosis and early detection of disease.
Consultant of Diagnostic Radiation for Breast Cancer at HMC Dr Haya Al Meraikhi said the Nuclear Medicine unit has introduced other state of the art diagnostic modalities such as Positron Emission Mammography (PEM).
This first-of-a-kind tool in Qatar is licensed by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA), and helps diagnose early-stage breast cancer as well as the remission of the condition after surgery and radiotherapy.
Compared to conventional mammogram, PEM is more effective in screening young women for breast cancer as the diagnosis can be more difficult due to breast tissue density. It also provides more conclusive test results revealing tumors even less than 1 cm in size.
The use of PEM depends on the condition of the patient upon consultation with the attending oncologist. The PEM modality can produce a 3D high-resolution image that is 80% clearer than that produced by conventional mammogram.
Unlike MRI, PEM pinpoints the exact location of cancer cells thus ridding patients the inconvenience of unnecessary biopsies otherwise needed for the screening process, Dr Haya Al Meraikhi added.
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